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Navy hero inspires new rum

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Navy hero inspires new rum

A NEW rum has been created and named after a naval hero from Dumfries and Galloway.

Ollie Blackett, Finnian Gill and Jack Cuddigan are behind the new John Paul Jones boutique brand based at Arbigland in Kirkcudbrightshire.

They set it up after losing their jobs as a result of covid.

The trio, who are all in their 20s, were London-based professionals climbing the career ladder when their paths were changed, finding themselves jobless . . . with but a pipe dream and a love of rum.

They have reinvested furlough funds to create John Paul Jones ‘Lowland Rum’.

Their product takes its name and inspiration from John Paul Jones – the ever-adventurous naval hero, who is considered the father of the American navy.

He was born a stone’s throw from where the company is based and the entrepreneurs hope they have condensed some of his pioneering spirit into their rum.

John Paul Jones was born in 1747 near Kirkbean and went on to fight in the American Revolutionary War.

He became a man renowned for bullish courage in the face of adversity and adventurous nature, famously exclaiming: “Surrender? I have not yet begun to fight!”

Today’s ambitious JPJ team have their first 400 bottles of rum and are ready to launch it.

NEW RUM . . . the three founders

Finnian said: “To say it has been a rollercoaster of a year would be an understatement, but honestly we are all absolutely delighted with what we have produced.

“With no professional experience in the spirits business and no outside investment, we have made something really special. The dream for us is just that this can now be our lives forever!”

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